Blackpool FC's agonising wait over potential 12-point deduction delayed yet again

EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey
EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey

Blackpool FC’s agonising wait to discover if they will be hit with a 12-point deduction by the EFL has been delayed yet again.

READ MORE: Blackpool FC calls for quick decision on possible points deduction

In a statement released this evening, the EFL confirmed it has received the financial information it requires from the club’s new board to make a decision.

However, the EFL has now said the matter won’t be considered until their next board meeting on Thursday, April 11.

An EFL spokesperson said: “The EFL has now received the relevant submissions in regard to the overall position at Blackpool FC following the appointment of the receivers by the High Court in February 2019.

“The information received from both the club and the receivers will now allow the board to make a final determination on whether the club is to be regarded as being subject to an Insolvency Event as detailed in Regulation 12.3.

“The board will consider the matter at its next meeting on April 11 and no further comment will be made until that discussion has concluded.”

It was only last night at the fans’ forum that the club’s board said they were hoping the EFL would make a decision this week.

But this latest delay leaves the club in limbo, with Terry McPhillips and the players unsure if they’re battling for a play-off spot in League One or fighting relegation.

It could also prove a sticking point for potential buyers, who will clearly prefer to see the Seasiders remain in the third tier.

While it has not been confirmed the EFL have, however, suggested a potential points deduction would apply this season unless the club was in a relegation position.

Under EFL rules, the appointment of a court receiver is deemed ‘an insolvency event’ in the same way administration is, and carries the threat of a 12-point deduction.

As it stands, such a deduction would leave the Seasiders two points ahead of the relegation zone.

Should the deduction not be imposed, Blackpool will still be in the hunt for the League One play-offs which they are currently four points adrift of with seven games left to play.

In an open letter written last month, EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey - who is due to leave the organisation at the end of the current season - claimed it is their priority to create "stability" at Blackpool.

He went on to say it is not mandatory to apply the 12-point deduction, but added the circumstances surrounding the appointment of the receiver needed to be fully considered before a decision is made.

EFL guidelines state: “In the event of a club being subject to an Insolvency Event after 5pm on March 28, 2019 (fourth Thursday in March), EFL Regulations 12.3.3 and 12.3.4 become relevant, though it should be noted that any potential points deduction would only be held over until season 2019/20 in the event of a club finishing the current season 2018/19 in a relegation place based on its playing record (disregarding any points deduction applied under regulation 12).”

Responding to the EFL's statement, a spokesperson for the club said: "Blackpool Football Club notes the statement issued by the EFL today.

"The club remains confident that the financial information and projections submitted to the EFL show that the club is self-sufficient.

"The club now awaits the decision of the EFL board and is hopeful of a positive conclusion to the matter."